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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day


Lucky Helmet

- Ancient Origins

Date Reviewed:
September 22, 2015

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 3.05
Expanded: 2.80
Limited: 5.00

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale.
1 being horrible.  3 ... average.  5 is awesome.

Back to the main COTD Page


Hope you enjoyed the extra-long break! I know we did, cause we got LUCKY!! :D 

...with our helmet...cause our helmet's lucky...it's a lucky helme- 

So what does Lucky Helmet do? Well, it's not unlike the Rocky Helmet we've come to know and...well, know. Rocky Helmet would usually trigger whenever the Pokemon it was attached to was damaged by an opponent's attack, dealing 20 damage back. This would usually combine well with anything that could deal damage on its own back to the opponent, such as Druddigon (NVI/LTR's Rough Skin. There was also the ACE SPEC Rock Guard, which functionally worked just like Rocky Helmet, only dealing 60 damage rather than just 20. 

Lucky Helmet works similarly but does something entirely different. Instead of damaging an opponent, Lucky Helmet will instead nab you two cards when the Pokemon it's attached to takes damage. So now your opponent has a bit of a tough time dealing with your Pokemon, since every time he attacks, you're gaining resources. If you're smart, you'll benefit with a fairly even trade (draw 2 cards at the cost of Lucky Helmet and the Pokemon it's attached to if it's OHKO), but beyond that the trades become bigger. A 2HKO will nab you 4 cards, and if you can drag out how long it takes for your opponent to KO you, you can get even more cards! 

But that's about where all the advantages stop. Lucky Helmet is, after all, still a Tool, meaning you lose out on having an additional Tool attached to it outside of anything with Theta Double, and even then you'd rather be using that for other things like, for instance, Muscle Band or a Spirit Link if you're M Tyranitar-EX. On top of that, it doesn't really benefit you right away nor does it give you an immediate plus like some other draw cards would - like Unown is a 1-for-1, but stuff like the Ace-in-the-Holes draw 5 cards and brings back a Pokemon! And don't even get me started on Sycaper again. 

Lucky Helmet's not a terrible card by any means though - at the end of the attack, you're still benefiting from its effects. Just don't think you're gonna go crazy rich with this card - it's at least good for an even trade (minus Energies, but hopefully you're not attaching this to an attacker), and it can make most decks go faster. Of course, with all the draw power available to us, is anyone going to really need Lucky Helmet? 


Standard: 3/5 (a fairly decent tool that can get a lot of draw power off if the opponent is careless...or that you've got room for it) 

Expanded: 2.5/5 (I doubt with more draw power, you really need something like this) 

Limited: 5/5 (at first, this might seem really high for a card that's otherwise mediocre, but draw power is draw power, and Lucky Helmet gets you draw power) 

Arora Notealus: I imagine if Lucky Helmet were transferred into the games somehow, it would probably end up being a protective tool against Status Conditions - like the hold item version of Safeguard! Which, ya know, would probably make it just as useful there as it is here, what with all the Magic Bouncing, Lum Berries, other anti-status items and moves, etc. 

Next Time: And now it's time to get a little messy!


We now return to our regularly scheduled Card of the Day reviews!  First up for this shortened week is Lucky Helmet (XY: Ancient Origins 77/98), a new Pokémon Tool from the latest set.  While attached to your Active Pokémon, you get to draw two cards any time your opponent’s attacks damage said Pokémon.  I shall now demonstrate how such a simple effect can actually be rather complicated if you want to understand “why” Lucky Helmet is as good or bad as it seems.  I’ll dissect it as usual for both my own understanding and to help explain where this review will go in the end. 

The most broad aspect of the card is its classification: Pokémon Tools are a subclass of Items which in turn are a subclass of Trainers.  If something affects one of the higher ups in the card taxonomy, so too does it affect those below.  This is a serious benefit when you’ve got a versatile effect like how Skyla allows you to search for and add any one Trainer card to your deck, but is problematic when one of the various Item lock strategies blocks out not just useful “regular” Items like Ultra Ball and VS Seeker but also all your Pokémon Tools.  Pokémon Tool counters also seem to be more effective than their support; Startling Megaphone isn’t quite as easy to TecH into Standard decks as it once was nor does it seem quite worth the space but it is a lot closer than Elesa or Eco-Arm in nearly all decks.  In fact it could pretty easily regain its “deck staple” status. 

Though not as bad as Ace Spec cards, Pokémon Tools are also in direct competition with each other because for most Pokémon, you may only attach one Pokémon Tool at a time.  Yes this set gave us multiple exceptions that can have more than one Pokémon Tool attached at a time (and aren’t even the first such cards), but that feat is still rare in the Standard and Expanded card pools and even more so when looking at the history of the game since Pokémon Tools were added.  Tools can be dealt with not only through effects which discard them, but also by KOing the Pokémon to which they are attached is KOed.  Yes, that is another obvious aspect but consider it in comparison to a Stadium which also remains in play, but is only worried about effects that specifically discard Stadiums or Trainers from play, plus the general mechanic of being replaced by a different Stadium.  If you field a lot of Pokémon at once it gives you more “slots” in play that can use Pokémon Tools, but more Pokémon means more resources in the first place, likely leaving less room in your deck for additional Pokémon Tools. 

Easing into more card specific territory, Lucky Helmet has a “passive” effect; you play it and your opponent will always have a chance to find a workaround because the draw effect doesn’t trigger on your own turn.  Something like Muscle Band or Float Stone can benefit you immediately, be kept for future use or even both but Lucky Helmet has to wait on your opponent before it can benefit you due to anything inherent to itself.  Lucky Helmet is explicit on what will trigger its own effect; it has to be damage from your opponent’s attack, not your own and not damage counters or damage from other effects, and also won’t work when your Pokémon with Lucky Helmet is on your Bench.  These aren’t unique restrictions and considering how overpowering Lucky Helmet could become if your own attacks could trigger it, I don’t object to the draw effect only working due to the opponent’s actions, but I do wish it worked while on the Bench.  I can see no benefit for game balance in preventing Lucky Helmet from triggering while it (and the Pokémon with it) are on the Bench that the clause about the damage needing to come from your opponent doesn’t also cover. 

I’ve just given you a lot of drawbacks and concerns about this card but what about the effect of drawing two cards?  It contains a hidden risk of decking yourself out common to all forms of draw power but unlike most of those, your opponent can more readily manipulate this one.  It isn’t a huge risk, but the draw effect is not optional and that is worth noting.  Otherwise in spite of all this baggage, drawing two cards from being damaged is a great effect that might have become a deck staple… except there are just better Pokémon Tools to run in most decks.  You’ve got Muscle Band for decks where 20 more damage allows you to score a KO with one less attack, Hard Charm for where taking 20 less damage forces your opponent to take an extra turn to score the KO, Float Stone (in Expanded) for Pokémon that benefit significantly from a zeroed out Retreat Cost and as we get more specific, we’ll find more competition.  Lucky Helmet actually fares quite well against most of it, but Muscle Band is almost impossible to beat as a general approach and a few others join it when we get to more specific scenarios. 

So for Standard and Expanded play, go ahead and consider Lucky Helmet, but don’t be surprised when something else easily eclipses it.  The one deck specific example where it is probably the best choice is when using Metagross (XY: Ancient Origins 50/98; its “Machine Gun Stomp” attack does 20 damage plus 10 more for each card in your hand, at a cost of [CC].  It is an odd deck in that without N (so Standard format only) it can be hard to make room for a card that shuffles your opponent’s hand away.  This means if you cannot steamroll your opponent before his or her hand enlarges to a certain point, they steam roll you instead.  I don’t expect it to win major events but it can be an effective foe on the PTCGO.  For Limited play, no surprise: this is a must run.  While this set contains several Pokémon Tools most are Spirit Link cards that you’ll probably have no use for and even if you do pull all three of a Pokémon-EX, its corresponding Mega Evolution and its specific Spirit Link card, you’d still also want to run Lucky Helmet.  Draw power in Limited play is just that precious. 


Standard: 3.15/5 

Expanded: 3.1/5 

Limited: 5/5 

Summary: Lucky Helmet is another good card you won’t often use because of the steep competition.  That being said I’ve seen it work quite often on the PTCGO in what seem to be “budget” decks, which includes but isn’t limited to the earlier referenced Metagross, decks which usually lack access to as many copies of Muscle Band as would normally be preferred.  The fact that if you stick Lucky Helmet into decks instead of something non-critical, the decks will still function (sometimes with more reliability at the cost of versatility or specific potency) explains why this actually would have made 19th place (with three points) had our Top 15 list for this set been a Top 20.

Emma Starr

            Ever felt the need to wear a helmet when you felt you needed to be lucky for a certain event, but you just end up looking silly? Well, if someone wants to bonk you on the head for wearing it, be prepared to find something cool…maybe. At least, that’s what it does for Pokemon who wear it.

            Lucky Helmet has the nice effect of letting yo draw 4 cards every time you’re attacked. So, if things go great, you could end up being able to maintain a slow, steady draw stream, while still relying on your normal draw support too! ..At least, that’s what I would say if this format didn’t have 1HKOers and 2HKOers everywhere. In addition, you yourself are forgoing the help of other Tools such as Muscle Band in the long run.

            Despite its drawbacks though, it does seem to get quite a bit of play on the PTCGO, and I feel it can carry some weight, especially in the early game, when not everyone has usually powered up as much. In addition, I can also see a nice combo of using Jamming Net (PF 98) with it – Jamming Net lowers the opponent’s Pokemon’s damage by 20, letting you survive with (hopefully) 20 more HP to spare. At the very least, it can help counter out all the little 20-damage-boosts that a lot of Fighting Decks have access to, thanks to the likes of Strong Energy and Machamp (FuF 46). You could also go the route of boosting your own HP, a Stage 1 or 2 Pokemon is using this – with Training Center (FuF 102), or heal yourself by 30 HP each turn with Rough Seas (PC 137) if a wielding Pokemon is a Water or Electric Type, but be aware of the many vulnerabilities that Stadiums hold these days- being easily replaced, and being Lugia EX bait.

            All in all, there are lots of things you can do to try to endure the myriad of hits you’ll receive, and to stay in the game as long as possible, but most people will probably still go for running Muscle Band over this, though I think this Helmet could really come in handy, especially if you only get one crappy non-EX basic in your starting hand, and you know is going to faint – just attach a Lucky Helmet to it, and get at least 2 cards out of it for the price of one! …Or of course, just be lazy and attach it to Wailord EX. 

            Modified: 3/5 (Second in terms of usefulness to Muscle Band, but still worth bringing 1 or 2 to give continual Draw support, though any more may end up clogging your deck in most cases. I can see some decks making good use of this though, such as Grass or Vespiquen decks.)

            Expanded: 2.8/5 (Draw support is just as good here! You may want to use the room for your Ace Spec here though, though you could still stick a few in here to be adventurous, but the score reflects the space you may need to make.)

            Limited: 5/5 (Drawing=victory. …Okay, maybe not quite, but it sure gets you much closer. You’ll probably see your opponent running some of these as well)    

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